It feels like a new brewpub opens every other week around here. Over summer, Keilor South and Richmond each gained one, and the Mornington Peninsula became home to two more.
The already busy Bonehead Brewing is the latest to join the fray. The Parsons Street site is the second brewery for Kensington – Henry St Brewhouse, one of the smallest commercial breweries in Australia, opened in late 2016.
Bonehead might be new, but owner Anthony Dinoto’s family has owned businesses on the street since the 1970s. The mechanic next door is still his family's business, and Dinoto had worked there up until he launched Bonehead with co-owner Travis Nott.
For now, you’ll find four core-range beers at the pub: Half-wit Hefeweizen; Mum’s Pilsner; Sweet Pea Dark Lager; and Prickled Pink, which is the Half-wit fermented with prickly pears.
Mum’s Pilsner is a throwback to the first beer Nott brewed using the homebrew kit his mum bought him. Sweet Pea is named after Nott’s dog. Prickled Pink is a nod to Dinotto’s childhood, when he ate prickly pears from his grandfather’s backyard tree. The fruit has seeds like passionfruit, but with watermelon flavour, Dinotto explains. The resulting beer is refreshing, bright pink and has a melon-like flavour – it’s the pick of the line-up, especially in warm weather. In addition to the core list, Bonehead is brewing one-off small-batches.
Anyone who spends time in these kinds of pubs will feel at home here – its relaxed, its industrial, it’s got high timber tables and stools, and concrete walls. Enter through the roller door and you’ll see the stainless steel brewhouse out back. But there’s personality here: the brewery’s memorable artwork – pinned behind the bar, and wrapped around beer bottles – is by the owners’ friend Diego Lara, a Brazilian artist and documentary maker.
The brewery doesn’t offer food, but it encourages people to bring takeaway from neighbouring restaurants.
“We want to be welcoming to people with young families and people with dogs,” Dinoto says. “We want to be a part of the community.”
There’s plans to start packaging their beer soon, but after working flatout since August to get the place open, Dinoto says his immediate plans are to get some sleep and “reintroduce himself to his family”.
86 Parsons Street, Kensington